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Princeton University Press

"Close Up" 1927-1933: Cinema and Modernism


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"Close Up" 1927-1933: Cinema and Modernism

Close Up was the first English-language journal of film theory. Published between 1927 and 1933, it billed itself as "the only magazine devoted to film as an art," promising readers "theory and analysis: no gossip." The journal was edited by the writer and filmmaker Kenneth Macpherson, the novelist Winifred Bryher, and the poet H. D., and it attracted contributions from such major figures as Dorothy Richardson, Sergei Eisenstein, and Man Ray. This anthology presents some of the liveliest and most important articles from the publication's short but influential history.

The writing in Close Up was theoretically astute, politically incisive, open to emerging ideas from psychoanalysis, passionately committed to "pure cinema," and deeply critical of Hollywood and its European imitators. The articles collected here cover such subjects as women and film, "The Negro in Cinema," Russian and working-class cinema, and developments in film technology, including the much debated addition of sound. The contributors are a cosmopolitan cast, reflecting the journal's commitment to internationalism; Close Up was published from Switzerland, printed in England and France, and distributed in Paris, Berlin, London, New York, and Los Angeles. The editors of this volume present a substantial introduction and commentaries on the articles that set Close Up in historical and intellectual context. This is crucial reading for anyone interested in the origins of film theory and the relationship between cinema and modernism.

Product Details

ISBN-13: 9780691004631
Publisher: Princeton University Press
Publication date: 01/18/1999
Edition description: New Edition
Pages: 256
Product dimensions: 6.50(w) x 9.50(h) x 1.00(d)

About the Author

James Donald, a former editor of the journals Screen Education and New Formations, is Professor of Media at Curtin University of Technology, Perth, Western Australia. Anne Friedberg is Associate Professor of Film Studies at the University of California, Irvine, and author of Window Shopping: Cinema and the Postmodern.
Laura Marcus lectures in English and the Humanities at Birkbeck College, University of London. Her most recent book is a study of Virginia Woolf.

Table of Contents

Introduction: Reading Close Up, 1927-19331
Pt. 1Enthusiasms and Execrations
As Is (July 1927)36
British Solecisms41
Emak Bakia43
An Interview: Anita Loos48
A New Cinema, Magic and the Avant Garde50
The French Cinema57
The Aframerican Cinema65
The Negro Actor and the American Movies73
Pt. 2From Silence to Sound
The Sound Film: A Statement from U.S.S.R.83
The Sound Film: Salvation of Cinema87
Why 'Talkies' Are Unsound89
As Is (October 1929)90
Pt. 3The Contribution of H.D.
The Cinema and the Classics105
Conrad Veidt: The Student of Prague120
Joan of Arc130
Russian Films134
An Appreciation139
Pt. 4Continuous Performance: Dorothy Richardson
Continuous Performance [unnumbered and untitled] (July 1927)160
Dawn's Left Hand, reviewed by W. B. [Bryher]209
Pt. 5Borderline and the POOL Films
Borderline: A POOL Film with Paul Robeson221
As Is (November 1930)236
Pt. 6Cinema and Psychoanalysis
Mind-growth or Mind-mechanization? The Cinema in Education247
Film Psychology250
Freud on the Films254
The Film in Its Relation to the Unconscious256
Dreams and Films260
Pt. 7Cinema Culture
The Independent Cinema Congress274
Russian Cutting277
'This Montage Business'278
First Steps Towards a Workers' Film Movement281
Films for Children283
What Can I Do?286
How I Would Start a Film Club290
A Note on Household Economy294
Towards a Co-operative Cinema: The Work of the Academy, Oxford Street296
Modern Witch-trials299
Acts under the Acts301
Pt. 8Fade
What Shall You Do in the War?306
App. 1The Contents of Close Up, 1927-1933310
App. 2Notes on the Contributors and Correspondents315
App. 3Publishing History and POOL Books318
App. 4A Chronology of Close Up in Context319

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